Disasters create many problems and a great deal of uncertainty. Although thinking through the process of a community conversation about recovery choices is overwhelming, it is also vital to restoring the built environment. And it's more critical to heal the emotional wounds that remain in the wake of a disaster.
This briefing paper outlines how public engagement after a catastrophe builds hope, trust, and confidence in government, relationships, new leaders, and opportunities to improve long-standing community challenges. To capture these benefits, public engagement must be both deliberate and strategic.